Supporting a diverse scholarly publishing ecosystem: introducing our new dynamic purchasing service

This post was written by Caren Milloy, Deputy director – Jisc Collections 

Here at Jisc we are keen to encourage a more diverse and transparent open access publishing environment. Our new dynamic purchasing service (DPS) enables new and emerging open access presses to procure publishing services (software and services that support the publishing workflow such as editorial tools, production software etc.) from participating suppliers safe in the knowledge that they have met specified requirements, and that any agreement entered into, will include terms that we have set. We also hope that the DPS will help to address some of the issues raised in the Plan S implementation guidelines, such as mandatory and additional requirements for journals and platforms (more information will be included in our forthcoming buyer’s guide).

Why did we set up the DPS?

We want to make it as simple and efficient as possible for New University Presses, Academic-Led publishers and learned societies to identify, assess and procure publishing services to enable them to publish open access journals and/or monographs online and in print if required. Our recent report, Changing publishing ecologies: a landscape study of new university presses and academic-led publishing found that these emerging presses, which are innovative, digital first and open access, are often operating on a low budget with small numbers of staff. Placing all effort on publishing high quality academic content, they can lack the time or resource needed to continually explore, review and negotiate with suppliers of publishing services. Our DPS can alleviate some of that pressure and enable them to stay focused on achieving their missions and scaling up their publishing offering – thereby increasing competition in the marketplace and increasing the number of high quality open access publishing venues available to researchers.

So how does the DPS work for suppliers?

Suppliers can join the DPS at any time – first they have to meet some financial and technical requirements. Secondly, they need to answer a series of questions, which set out their service offering. Finally, they have to agree to include set terms and conditions in any contract they sign with a press.

The DPS is split into three lots:

  • Journals
  • Monographs
  • Journals & monographs

Under each lot, there are sections on the various elements of publication workflow: editorial, production, dissemination, preservation, marketing and analytics. Suppliers answer the questions for the lots they want to participate in and for the publication workflow areas they offer services in. We then evaluate their response and if they meet the criteria and pass the information requirements, they can join the DPS.

A new university press will then be able to view all the information provided by the suppliers online. The presses can then run a mini competition through the DPS for the lots and sections of the workflow they require. All suppliers in that lot will be able to respond allowing the press to select the supplier(s) that they wish to contract with.

This is a more efficient process for both suppliers and presses; suppliers only need to provide information once and then, if accepted, will be listed on the Jisc website. We have consulted the community about the questions in each lot and workflow area in order to cover the information presses want and need to know about. In addition, there is no need to worry about key areas such financial standing, GDPR and data protection, information security etc. as these are part of the DPS. In addition, when contracting with a supplier through the DPS, any press, which is part of an institution, will be automatically be compliant with procurement regulations. We can also help to draft your statement of requirements.

Who can use this DPS?

All suppliers that offer publishing services and meet the requirements can join the DPS – including open source suppliers – there is no need to offer services in all elements of the workflow – if you just provide services in the area of editorial or marketing for example, you can still join.

Although we have aimed this DPS at New University Presses and Academic-Led Publishers, it is open to many other organisations both here in the UK and abroad – any ‘contracting authority’ (a public authority or a body governed by public law) can use the DPS. This includes learned societies, non-commercial pure gold OA publishers, higher education institutions, research institutes, national research and education networks and their customers.

Next steps?

We really hope that this DPS will facilitate a more transparent and diverse open access publishing ecosystem and ease the process for both suppliers and organisations that procure services through it.

If you wish to join the DPS please contact the Jisc Procurement Team –

Further information for suppliers is available online at:

We will be producing a buyer’s guide for presses in the near future.

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